The Org claims to have 16,000 org charts that it created with a combination of crowd sourcing and research. It’s now raised an $8.5 million Series A positioning itself as the latest David to go up against LinkedIn the Goliath, while also trying to get employers to expose their org structure and employees with full transparency in order to “show off” their teams and”unsung heroes.” The ability for companies to post jobs is “coming soon.” With regard to LinkedIn, it identifies the lack of an org structure view there as a weakness it hopes to exploit. As a job board and sales lead site, it’s an interesting marketing play, but a few glaring issues jump out on the surface.
- Can you research and crowdsource an org chart, display names, titles, etc. and be GDPR compliant? It seems consent may be in order here, but we’re not experts. With GDPR being a minimum standard we expect to see globally, or in all of the sizable markets, this seems like a question needing an answer sooner than later. We expect each employer will have their own perspective, regardless of The Org’s marketing spin.
- Could an employee of a company opt out of being listed publicly on this site? What if I don’t want calls from recruiters or sales people? (See GDPR issue above)
- What if a company desires to opt out in the same way? What if my firm is a government contractor and my team works on projects requiring security clearance, and exposing a project team impacts my business negatively in that context? While the root data is publicly available, and some of it crowdsourced, does the compilation of an organization’s structure result in the equivalent of exposing intellectual property?
- While we’re thiking about IP, where do CEOs and CHROs draw the line between transparency for the public domain and intellectual property? This site minimally seems to have their toes on that line.
The value of org charts for recruiters and sales people is obvious, and the usability weakness that The Org identified in LinkedIn is one that they can exploit. But, do employers or individuals want to be represented this way without consent? The market will answer this question. Glancing at their site, the logos they list on their home page have small employee numbers associated – Airbnb (100), Amazon (99), Apple (30), Comcast (109), and so on. Given employee numbers at these shops, these aren’t staggering numbers for a logo roll.
So, while this is a provocative PR launch of a site, we do see challenges ahead. The least of which is the very high cost of going up against strong brands like LinkedIn and Glassdoor. The investors here have deep pockets, but can The Org get early traction and adoption to raise the kind of funds needed to build a challenger brand to LinkedIn? As we point out in our reports repeatedly, investors do love job boards. Keep an eye on this one.